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Sunday panels

Panel from the Lockhorns, 9/14/14

One of the things I like about the Lockhorns is the work ethic implied by the format of its Sunday installments: instead of using the extra space to do larger, more expressive, possibly multipanel strip, or just being lazy and doing one enormous panel, the Lockhorns creative team just churns out five more Lockhorns, each of which could stand on its own in a daily panel, because, fuck it, making more Lockhorns is our job, right? Anyway, this panel from today is close to the ultimate Lockhorns installment. “Marriage is like a perpetual I.R.S. audit,” Leroy says, and no detail (Loretta probing into the family finances, say) is provided to imply that this is part of some vaguely clever metaphor; “I.R.S. audit” here is just literally a synonym for “something unpleasant.” That’s the next, and presumably final, step: every Lockhorns strip, regardless of the setting or action, just having the caption “Marriage is unpleasant.”

Panels from Marvin, 9/14/14

Meanwhile, something profoundly unpleasant seems to have recently happened in the throwaway panels of Marvin. In panel one, the whole family, including Marvin, is sporting, grim, thousand-mile stares; in panel two, Marvin sits alone in the Punishment Corner. Does the level of distress on display here mean that whatever transpired was much worse than Marvin’s usual poop-related antics? (No, of course not, Marvin’s bowel movements are the stuff of the worst kind of nightmare.)

Second-tier soap Saturday

Gil Thorp, 9/13/14

The tale of True Standish from the summer is now clearly also the tale of True Standish for the fall, and that tale will entail: quarterback controversy! Yes, the next several months will involve high school QB phenom with painfully overbearing dad True being preternaturally nice about the fact that he just loved Milford and really wants to win and if that means that high school QB phenom with painfully overbearing dad True Standish ends up taking the starting quarterback job away from “Jarrod,” a guy who’s probably been on the team for a while and who’s maybe even been in the strip before but about whom I could tell you exactly nothing, then that’s just how the ball bounces, you know? Anyway, today’s episode involves “Jarrod” dishing out a sick burn about not knowing the name of the local newspaper. All of today’s teens are very clued into their area’s print media outlets; the daily paper is a core aspect of teen identity in modern culture. Point: “Jarrod.”

Gasoline Alley, 9/13/14

Gasoline Alley has spent the past few months on an extremely mawkish story about a dying little boy with a wacky parrot sidekick who just wants to operate a real life steam locomotive before he kicks it. I’m a guy who loves train and isn’t in favor of little children dying of mysterious diseases, and yet am wholly unmoved by all this, mostly because the lad has been introduced to us already pre-dying, a transparent spectacle for our emotional catharsis. “I’ll remember this the…” [SIGNIFICANT PAUSE TO REMIND YOU THAT THE NEXT PHRASE IS POIGNANT AND SIGNIFICANT] “…rest of my life! Come here, parrot, give me a big hug! WEEP FOR ME, ENGINEER-MAN!”

Barney Google and Snuffy Smith, 9/13/14

By the way, if you’re wondering how long it takes Uriah the mailman to “give Miz Prunelly a special delivery” (i.e., have sex with Miz Prunelly): it takes about half an hour.

Metapost: Fully Californian comments of the week

Hello all! I hope that you feel that I’ve been doing a decent job of mocking the comics from the opposite side of the country from where I had been previously mocking them. You all continue to do a good job with the funny comments, as it turns out! Like this top comment from the week, for instance:

Calm Dennis is so spooky. ‘You’ve discovered my secret, Mother. Congratulations. Yes, I like to watch vintage lumberjack romances on Turner Classic Movies sometimes. Tell Father if you’d like. I don’t care one way or the other. And now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to return to Ardor Amid the Pines please.’” –Joe Blevins

And these hilarious runners up!

I’m really glad you’re home, Hemingway. I call you ‘Hemingway’ because you remind me of him. You both have smaller than average penises and it’s only a matter of time before you kiss the business end of a shotgun. And you both like cats!” –gelded wildebeeste

Who hired me? Alaistair Z. Footfieldmanstein, on accounts that they were rivals to win this year’s ‘Dumbest Fucking Name in Comics’ award.” –Comrade Dread

“I’d submit to Pluggers too, if they’d expand their repertoire of Dr. Moreau-beast-people a bit more, instead of the regular dog-men, bear-men and chicken-women. For example, there would be one where the caption was ‘The Plugger Web.’ where the picture was of a massive, Shelob-like spider-plugger in a John Deere hat, ensnaring a horrified fly-man in its massive web.” –Jack loves comics

“It’s almost like Dennis the Menace the comic needs a talk about good attention/bad attention more than Dennis the Menace the child. Depicting a 5-year-old watching porn on the family TV in front of his mom will probably get you some letters, but they’re not the kind of letters you want! There are better ways to get us to notice you, like jokes!” –Alex Blaze

“Just how far does Dagwood’s food obsession extend, anyway? Cause I’m wondering if Blondie just has to do the 9 1/2 Weeks thing to get him interested, or if she needs to go all-out and dress like a comically oversized sandwich.” –TheDiva

Mary Worth: “So just to recap this adventure’s moral: Don’t listen to your parents, kids. Listen to angels, faeries, and the small lump of neurons in your digestive tract. And Mary of course, always listen to MARY.” –pugfuggly

Mark Trail: “And Chekhov’s Rhinoceros finally leaps off the mantlepiece … and into our hearts.” –Shrug

“At the mention of the guv’mint, the kids switched holding their pencils from writing tool into holding them as stabbing tools. Yes, they are learning everything there is to teach at Hootin’ Holler High School.” –Chareth Cutestory

Hee-Hee. I’ve got a second brain in my tummy! BEFORE LUNCH IT WAS IN DOCTOR KAPUHT’S SKULL!!!” –Dr. Mabuse

“It makes me sad that he isn’t proffering a hamburger sandwich and French fried potatoes as bait, since that is the agreed upon bait of choice for American teenagers. How is he going to attract a teenager with just a comfy chair? These coddled teens have all the comfy chairs they want already. Kids today, with their hamburger sandwiches and their comfy chairs, and their loud music like the 1812 Overture. They make me sick!” –Jejune (who posted this comment on Facebook, guys did you know that I have a Facebook and you can post funny comments there too if you want)

“‘In the time I traveled here from, we loved beehives so much that we even named a women’s hairstyle after them,’ said the 1962-era government functionary as the older folks admired his glasses, mustache, crew cut, short-sleeved white shirt, rumpled black tie and pocket protector.” –BigTed

“Yes, it’ll be interesting to follow Olive’s progress as she grows up. Except that I won’t.” –A New Day

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